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Chicago May Ban Crib Bumpers to Prevent Infant Suffocation

According to the Chicago Tribune, City Council will consider an ordinance today that would ban the sale of bumper pads for children’s cribs. This comes after an investigation by the paper found a number of children died after suffocating on bumper pads. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers support this ban and hope that it will help prevent future deaths among infants and small children.

According to a Washington University School of Medicine study that appeared in The Journal of Pediatrics, the risk of injury or death from using crib bumper pads is greater than the benefits. These pads were originally designed to prevent children from falling out of cribs or getting their heads caught between slats, however subsequent regulations required manufacturers to design cribs so that the spaces were small enough to prevent children from falling out. Despite these changes, many people continued to use bumpers even though they were no longer needed.

Accidental injuries to children and death can occur from suffocation, strangulation or when a child becomes wedged in between the pad and side of the crib or mattress. Since young babies cannot roll-over or release themselves from these constraints, they are likely to suffocate.

Last December, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan warned parents of the dangers of crib bumpers and recommended that families stop using them to reduce the risk of accidental suffocation or strangulation. We hope that if passed, the Chicago ordinance will help to raise public awareness further surrounding the dangers associated with bumper pad use. We also hope that other cities will follow suit and introduce similar bans.

In the meantime, our personal injury attorneys recommend that parents, grandparents, and all infant caregivers take steps to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place. We suggest that if you are currently using bumper pads, you should remove them from your child’s bed immediately. Since they serve no purpose and offer no protection to babies in cribs designed after the seventies, it is best to remove them to help reduce your child’s risk for suffocation, strangulation, or other serious personal injuries.